Let's Make Robots!

Simple / Cheap object recognition?

I'm not sure if "object recognition" is the correct phrase for this, as that has connotation of computer vision etc but what I am after in theory is far more simple.

Basically I have a train set. The trains go along the track. Currently I have 3 trains, but I could get more in future. I guess 8 would be a practical limit.

Currently I can quite easily detect when a train goes down a particular piece of track by having a simple IR sensor mounted trackside - this then sends a signal to my microcontroller which acts accordingly changing lights or whatever.

08M IR Transmitter for Lego Power Functions


I recently got a Lego Power Functions set and noticed that it uses an IR communications protocol for the remote control, and this got me thinking that it would be good to create my own remote control with a view to adding some automation.

The protocol document can be downloaded here: http://storage.technicbricks.com/Media/2010/TBs_20100304_1/LEGO%20Power%20Functions%20RC%20v120.pdf

The document states that

Enter the MAKE Volume 27 Robot Contest!

Make: Magazine is running a contest for robots which demonstrate the most character, what will you enter?


From Make: Online;

Amazing animatronics.

John Nolan showreel from 2010.

I'm not associated with this company in anyway, but thought you guys might appreciate some of the animatronic wonders they have created.

Some amazing stuff, some wierd stuff, and some stuff that I had assumed was CGI !